"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
(Psalms 118:8)

The Wilderness

Dear Friends,

      Greetings! Revelation 12:6 and 14 are very conforting verses. "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."

      The woman, is of course the church, not a building-- the ecclesia, the 'called out' ones. God has prepared a place, the wilderness, for the called out ones, the Christians, where "they" are going to feed her (the church) for three and one half years and keep her from the face of Satan.

      Of course, the 'woman' may not have a whole lot of advance notice, as the verse does say she 'fled'. That is going to take some faith as we see the advance of the antichrist and his forces growing stronger.

      It may be a bit like when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and Pharoah and his army decided to pursue them and bring them back into captivity. They had the sea on one side and Pharoah and his armies on the other side.It even says of the Children of Israel that they were very afraid.

     "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

      Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever." (Exodus 14:10-13)

      We all know the outcome, the Lord did the miracle, parted the sea, and saved the people. Unfortunately their memories were short lived, and they were doomed to wander in the wilderness for forty years, for doubting that the Lord was able to help them conquer the inhabitants of the Promised Land. (Numbers 13:16-14:35)

      As the days grow darker we will have to learn to rely more on the supernatural help of God.



Vatican's fury as court bans crucifixes in Italian classrooms because they 'breach religious rights of children'

By Nick Pisa - Last updated at 12:38 AM on 04th November 2009

Banned: A crucifix hangs on the wall of a classroom in Naples, Italy (file photo)

Crucifixes have been banned in Italian schools by a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights.

The decision has enraged politicians, with Italy's foreign minister Franco Frattini saying: 'This is a death blow for a Europe of values and rights.

'Europe's roots lie in its Christian identity. At a time when we're trying to bring religions closer, the Christian religion gets whacked.

'The government will appeal.'

The case was brought by a Finnish woman, Soile Lautsi, who is married to an Italian.

Both are atheists. She had complained that her children had to attend a school in northern Italy which had crucifixes in every room, as laid down in law as a reflection of the country's Roman Catholic heritage.

The European court's ruling, which will be enforced in three months, said crucifixes could disturb children who were not Christians.

It could force a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools.

The court rejected arguments by Italy's government that the crucifix was a national symbol of culture, history and identity, tolerance and secularism.

And it ordered the Italian government to pay 5000 Euro moral damages to Lautsi.

The judgement said that having a crucifix in the classroom was a 'violation of the right to parents to educate children as to their own wishes and a violation of liberty of religion of pupils'.

Italy has been in the throes of national debate on how to deal with a growing population of immigrants, mostly Muslims, and the court sentence is likely to become another battle cry for the centre-right government's policy to restrict newcomers.

Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said having a cross in the classroom was ' a symbol of our tradition.'

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini introduced legislation in 1924 ordering all classrooms to display crucifixes. Despite several attempts to have the law overturned in recent years it has stood.

Mrs Lautsi, a Finnish national, said that she felt having a crucifix in the classroom where her children Dataico, 11, and Sami Albertin, 13, were taught was a 'violation of their freedom' and of 'right to freedom of religion'.

The eight-year case centred on a State primary school in Abano Terme near Padua in northern Italy and she brought the case to Strasbourg after her local court threw it out.

Pope Benedict XVI prays underneath the Saint Damian Crucifix inside Saint Claire Basilica in Assisi, Italy, in 2007. The Vatican is said to be furious at the ruling

Today in a 16-page decision the seven judges of the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in her favour, saying: 'The presence of the crucifix could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign and they would feel that they were being educated in a school environment bearing the stamp of a given religion.

'This could be encouraging for religious pupils, but also disturbing for pupils who practised other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities.'

The court added that secular, state-run schools must 'observe confessional neutrality in the context of public education,' where attendance is compulsory.

It further rejected Italian legal arguments that the crucifix was somehow a symbol that promoted pluralism.

Today a Vatican spokesman said: 'We will look closely at the judgement before making any comment.'

However a Vatican source said: 'This goes completely against the grain and we are furious at this decision.'

Conservative Catholic politicians were also furious with Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia of the Northern League calling it 'shameful' and a member of PM Silvio - Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party, Antonio Mazzocchi, saying that Europe was forgetting its Christian heritage.

Alessandra Mussolini, whose grandfather brought in the legislation, stormed: 'This is an attempt to erase our Christian roots. They are trying to create a Europe without identity and tradition.'

Crucifixes are common in Italian public buildings despite the postwar Constitution's separation of Church and State. In practice, with Catholicism being such a part of Italy's cultural identity, local bodies decide whether they want crosses in schools and courthouses, and the majority of them do.

There has been outrage in the past after it emerged some Italian schools had dropped Nativity plays and Easter plays so as not offend Muslim pupils and other religions. - -


Times UK

England Chief Medical Officer Calls H1N1 Vaccine Resistors "Extremists"

- Friday, Oct 30, 2009

The Chief Medical Officer in England has described those who are speaking out against the mass swine flu vaccination campaign as "extremists".

The comment made by Sir Liam Donaldson, the government's senior advisor on health matters, was highlighted in a Times of London article today.

"We have had a lot of unfair public criticism and attacks in an attempt to scare people about a vaccine that's potentially life-saving," Donaldson said in reference to anti-vaccination posters depicting the H1N1 shot as a "weapon of mass destruction".

"We have seen it before with vaccines like MMR [the combined jab for measles, mumps and rubella], and now extremists are doing the same thing again." he added.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary added:

"Vaccination is our best defence against this virus and I urge everyone who is in the priority groups to accept the vaccine when invited to do so."

Donaldson's remarks are ill thought out considering the fact that senior neurologists have voiced concerns over the adjuvants in the H1N1 flu vaccine and the fact that it has been rushed through safety procedures, with manufacturers provided with blanket immunity from potential lawsuits.

In addition, multiple opinion polls have revealed that half of GPs in Britain have severe reservations and doubts over the safety of the shot.

A much larger Nursing Times magazine poll in August also found that 30% of all frontline nurses said they would refuse to be immunized, with another 33% saying they were unsure over the vaccine.

50% of pregnant women in the UK have also said they will refuse the vaccine.

No matter, apparently the government believes you are an "extremist" if you don't shut up and take it.

Donaldson's comment is also especially relevant in the wake of news that police in Britain have defined political activism as "domestic extremism" and are treating people who attend demonstrations as criminals, cataloguing them on multiple national databases.


Telegraph UK

French Europe minister Pierre Lellouche labels David Cameron's EU plans 'autistic'

French Europe minister Pierre Lellouche has labelled David Cameron's pledge to reclaim EU powers as "pathetic and autistic" and warned it will leave Britain isolated.

By Aislinn Laing -

Published: 05 Nov 2009

Pierre Lellouche Photo: AQFP/GETTY IMAGES

Mr Lellouche said he was reflecting Nicolas Sarkozy's "sadness and regret" at David Cameron's recently-announced plan to strengthen British sovreignity, warning it would "castrate" the country's position within the EU.

His outburst reflects the growing sense of frustration with Britain's reluctance to fully engage with the union, and is all the more potent because it comes from a keen Anglophile.

But Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague insisted Mr Lellouche's views were not widely-held.

"I don't think you will find that's representative of the reaction in Paris or other European capitals," he told BBC2's Newsnight.

Mr Cameron caused dismay in some domestic quarters this week when he rowed back from a pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty now that it had been ratified by all European Union countries.

Instead, he outlined how he would try and claw back some EU policies and never again allow powers to be passed to Brussels without a vote in Britain.

He insisted he was not seeking an immediate "bust-up" with the Europe but Mr Lellouche's furious response came within hours.

"It's pathetic. It's just very sad to see Britain, so important in Europe, just cutting itself out from the rest and disappearing from the radar map," he told The Guardian.

"This is a culture of opposition. It is the result of a long period of opposition. I know they will come back, but I hope the trip will be short."

He also criticised Mr Cameron's decision to withdraw from the main centre-right EPP grouping in the European parliament, of which President Sarkozy's UMP party is a member.

"They are doing what they have done in the European parliament. They have essentially castrated your UK influence in the European parliament," he said.

Lellouche said he had made his displeasure known to shadow foreign secretary William Hague personally. "They have one line and they just repeat one line. It is a very bizarre sense of autism," he said.

"I have told William Hague: go away for two to three years, in your political economic situation you're going to be all by your self and you'll come back. Go ahead and do it. That is my message to them ... You want to be marginalised? Well, you go for it. But it's a waste of time for all of us."

He said that the Tories would find no one to support their plans at a time when unity was needed more than ever.

"It is a time of tumultuous waters all around us. Wars, terrorism, proliferation, Afghanistan, energy with Russia, massive immigration, economic crisis," he said. "It is time when the destiny of Europe is being defined - whether or not we will exist as a third of the world's GDP capable of fighting it out on climate, on trade, on every Goddamn issue on the surface of the Earth.

"We need to be united, otherwise we will be wiped out and marginalised. None of us can do it alone. Whether you're big or small, the lesson is the same. And England's risk is one of marginalisation. Irrelevance."

The Times UK

Lisbon treaty signing leads to new dawn in Europe

David Charter, Europe Correspondent, and Philip Webster, Political Editor

Europe's elite celebrated the imminent arrival of its first president last night as the last lingering resistance to the Lisbon treaty fell away with the stroke of a pen in Prague.

Gordon Brown and other leaders hailed a new era of expanded powers for the European Union to act on the world stage after the Eurosceptic President of the Czech Republic signed the treaty. The relief across European capitals was palpable as the eight-year journey of an accord that gives Europe a president and a new chief of foreign affairs came to an end.

European leaders wasted no time in starting the process to choose their new president from a range of names including Tony Blair. Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Prime Minister of Sweden, which holds the EU presidency, began a round of telephone diplomacy to determine a shortlist of names.

Last night William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, announced the end of the long Conservative campaign for a referendum on the treaty. David Cameron will try to satisfy his Eurosceptic party today with pledges to try to repatriate powers from Brussels and stop any future treaty going through without a referendum.

There are already signs he will not be able to placate those who accuse him of reneging on a "cast iron" promise. He will argue that because the treaty is now European law there is no treaty left upon which to hold a vote.

Mr Blair's chances took a knock at last week's EU summit when smaller countries pleaded for a "chairman not a chief" but neither Downing Street nor his allies believe that the former Prime Minister is yet out of the race.

Mr Reinfeldt echoed the feelings of many EU leaders when he declared that the treaty process had gone on for "far too long" since grand plans for an EU constitution dating back to 2001 were scuppered by referendum defeats in France and the Netherlands. The Lisbon treaty was the brainchild of Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel of Germany to revive most of the contents of the constitution but in a form that required a referendum only in the Irish Republic, and even then the first vote was lost in 2008.

"After a long journey, the Treaty of Lisbon has reached the goal," Mr Reinfeldt said last night. "All EU member states have now ratified the text. The treaty enters into force on December 1 and all the details must now be put into place . . . As soon as possible I will call for an EU summit."

Mr Brown said that the Czech President's decision marked "an important and historic step for all of Europe".



Saturday, October 31, 2009


Confirmed: Skin cream contains fetal proteins

Company's anti-aging products built on cells harvested from aborted baby

October 28, 2009

By Drew Zahn

One of Neocutis' skin products containing PSPA pro-life organization is blasting a Switzerland-based cosmetics manufacturer whose website openly admits some of its products were developed from the tissues of an aborted baby.

Children of God for Life is a non-profit organization focused on the bioethics of embryonic tissue use in medicine and manufacturing. One of its current campaigns includes petitioning pharmaceutical companies to produce safe, effective alternatives to vaccines derived or cultivated from aborted fetal tissue.

But the organization's attention has now turned Neocutis, a company with offices in San Francisco which has developed a line of anti-aging products that include an ingredient the company has trademarked as Processed Skin Cell Protein, or PSP, developed from skin cells harvested from an abortion.

"It is absolutely deplorable that Neocutis would resort to exploiting the remains of a deliberately slaughtered baby for nothing other than pure vanity and financial gain," said Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, in a statement. "There is simply no moral justification for this."

The website for Neocutis, which is privately held with estimated annual sales of in excess of $2 million, explains that its research began years ago, when scientists discovered fetal skin's unusual ability to heal without scarring. Scientists at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, then created a process to extract proteins from fetal cells in the attempt to obtain an optimal, naturally balanced mixture of nutrients.

The scientists then infused those nutrients into a line of cosmeceutical anti-aging products: Neocutis skin cream, Journée day cream, Lumière eye cream and Bio-Gel bio-restorative hydrogel - products Vinnedge is advising women to throw in the garbage before contacting Neocutis to voice their concerns.

"There is absolutely no reason to use aborted babies for such selfish motives," Vinnedge said. "It is anti-life, anti-woman and counter-productive, as Neocutis is about to find out!"

Children of God for Life boasts that it has been a watchdog on pharmaceutical companies using aborted fetal cell lines in medical products and has received thousands of inquiries from the public on the use of aborted fetal material in cosmetics. But this is the first time, the organization says, that any company was bold enough to put the information right on its own website and in product literature.

In fact, the Neocutis website openly explains the history of its PSP ingredient:

"A small biopsy of fetal skin was donated following a one-time medical termination," the website states, "and a dedicated cell bank was established for developing new skin treatments. Originally established for wound healing and burn treatments, today this same cell bank also provides a lasting supply of cells for producing Neocutis' proprietary skin care ingredient Processed Skin Cell Proteins."

The company adds, "No additional fetal biopsies will ever be required."

But Children of God for Life finds little consolation in the company's statement.

"You note in your literature that 'no further fetal biopsies will be needed,' as though the life of the one child you have exploited has no value," wrote the organization in a letter to Neocutis' CEO. "It is deplorable that you would attempt to mollify the public and whitewash your badly tarnished image so thoughtlessly."

Vinnedge also told WND that companies aren't required to disclose their research history to the public, so there may be facts conveniently omitted from the Neocutis story.

"What we don't know is how many other fetuses were involved before they perfected that one cell line," she surmised. "There's a possibility there were more."


Forbes Magazine

On My Mind

Be Prepared for the Worst

Ron Paul

November 16, 2009

The large-scale government intervention in the economy is going to end badly.

Any number of pundits claim that we have now passed the worst of the recession. Green shoots of recovery are supposedly popping up all around the country, and the economy is expected to resume growing soon at an annual rate of 3% to 4%. Many of these are the same people who insisted that the economy would continue growing last year, even while it was clear that we were already in the beginning stages of a recession.

A false recovery is under way. I am reminded of the outlook in 1930, when the experts were certain that the worst of the Depression was over and that recovery was just around the corner. The economy and stock market seemed to be recovering, and there was optimism that the recession, like many of those before it, would be over in a year or less. Instead, the interventionist policies of Hoover and Roosevelt caused the Depression to worsen, and the Dow Jones industrial average did not recover to 1929 levels until 1954. I fear that our stimulus and bailout programs have already done too much to prevent the economy from recovering in a natural manner and will result in yet another asset bubble.

Anytime the central bank intervenes to pump trillions of dollars into the financial system, a bubble is created that must eventually deflate. We have seen the results of Alan Greenspan's excessively low interest rates: the housing bubble, the explosion of subprime loans and the subsequent collapse of the bubble, which took down numerous financial institutions. Rather than allow the market to correct itself and clear away the worst excesses of the boom period, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury colluded to put taxpayers on the hook for trillions of dollars. Those banks and financial institutions that took on the largest risks and performed worst were rewarded with billions in taxpayer dollars, allowing them to survive and compete with their better-managed peers.

This is nothing less than the creation of another bubble. By attempting to cushion the economy from the worst shocks of the housing bubble's collapse, the Federal Reserve has ensured that the ultimate correction of its flawed economic policies will be more severe than it otherwise would have been.

Even with the massive interventions, unemployment is near 10% and likely to increase, foreigners are cutting back on purchases of Treasury debt and the Federal Reserve's balance sheet remains bloated at an unprecedented $2 trillion. Can anyone realistically argue that a few small upticks in a handful of economic indicators are a sign that the recession is over?

What is more likely happening is a repeat of the Great Depression. We might have up to a year or so of an economy growing just slightly above stagnation, followed by a drop in growth worse than anything we have seen in the past two years. As the housing market fails to return to any sense of normalcy, commercial real estate begins to collapse and manufacturers produce goods that cannot be purchased by debt-strapped consumers, the economy will falter. That will go on until we come to our senses and end this wasteful government spending.

Government intervention cannot lead to economic growth. Where does the money come from for Tarp (Treasury's program to buy bad bank paper), the stimulus handouts and the cash for clunkers? It can come only from taxpayers, from sales of Treasury debt or through the printing of new money.

Paying for these programs out of tax revenues is pure redistribution; it takes money out of one person's pocket and gives it to someone else without creating any new wealth. Besides, tax revenues have fallen drastically as unemployment has risen, yet government spending continues to increase.

As for Treasury debt, the Chinese and other foreign investors are more and more reluctant to buy it, denominated as it is in depreciating dollars.


Senate Bill Would Give President Obama Authority to Pull the Plug on Your Internet

Posted by: Dr. Mercola

November 03 2009

CNET News has obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive Office of the President. That office would receive the power to disconnect, if it believes they're at risk of a cyberattack, "critical" computer networks from the Internet.

"I regard this as a profoundly and deeply troubling problem to which we are not paying much attention," Rockefeller said at a hearing, referring to cybersecurity.

Senate bill 773 (The Cybersecurity Act of 2009) is causing a flurry of opposition from groups like Campaign for Liberty, which has sent out letters to their members appealing for them to take action against passage of this bill, stating:

"If the 'Internet Takeover Bill' passes, Barack Obama can silence his dissenters directly -- by ordering a shutdown of all Americans' access to the Internet. But that's not all. Even outside of periods of White House-declared 'emergency,' this bill mandates that private-sector networks only be managed by government-licensed cybersecurity professionals."

Senate bill 773 (The Cybersecurity Act of 2009) is a very real, and very alarming, piece of legislation that is pending action right now.

You can read the record for yourself at the Library of Congress, but I'll post the description of the proposed Senate bill 773 here too:

"A bill to ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications, to provide for the continued development and exploitation of the Internet and intranet communications for such purposes, to provide for the development of a cadre of information technology specialists to improve and maintain effective cybersecurity defenses against disruption, and for other purposes."

According to the Library of Congress, the bill was referred to Senate committee, has been read twice and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The bill was also apparently redrafted since its initial release, but still reportedly contains vague language that appears to grant the president authority to seize control of private-sector Internet networks during a "cybersecurity emergency."

What's Concerning About The Cybersecurity Act of 2009?

Like the recently introduced Food Safety Enforcement Act and the slightly older Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act, The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 was introduced under the guise of public safety, but in reality contains inclusions that could seriously impact and threaten your privacy and civil liberties.

According to CNET News, The Act, even in "revised" form, would allow:

The president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat.

The president to "direct the national response to the cyber threat" if necessary for "the national defense and security."


The White House to engage in "periodic mapping" of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies "shall share" requested information with the federal government.

A federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have that license.

In case you were wondering, "Cyber" in the Bill is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks, so you can see the enormous power that is being granted to the government.

As you may know, there are countries that do this as a matter of course, but here in the United States we are supposed to be free ...

The Internet has really become one of the last bastions of independent, free-thinking news available around the world, so I am very glad to see that The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 is drawing widespread and deserved criticism from Internet companies and civil liberty groups alike.

But even though the United States enjoys access to much more free press than many other countries, the system is clearly not without flaws, nor is it impervious to violations that threaten your freedom to access and share information.


Telegraph UK

Climate change belief given same legal status as religion

An executive has won the right to sue his employer on the basis that he was unfairly dismissed for his green views after a judge ruled that environmentalism had the same weight in law as religious and philosophical beliefs.

By Stephen Adams and Louise Gray -

03 Nov 2009

Tim Nicholson: Mr Nicholson, 42, from Oxford, told a previous hearing that his views were so strong that he refused to travel by air and had renovated his house to be environmentally-friendly.

Photo: PA

In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton said that "a belief in man-made climate change ... is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations".

The ruling could open the door for employees to sue their companies for failing to account for their green lifestyles, such as providing recycling facilities or offering low-carbon travel.

The decision regards Tim Nicholson, former head of sustainability at property firm Grainger plc, who claims he was made redundant in July 2008 due to his "philosophical belief about climate change and the environment".

In March, employment judge David Heath gave Mr Nicholson permission to take the firm to tribunal over his treatment.

But Grainger challenged the ruling on the grounds that green views were political and based on science, as opposed to religious or philosophical in nature.

John Bowers QC, representing Grainger, had argued that adherence to climate change theory was "a scientific view rather than a philosophical one", because "philosophy deals with matters that are not capable of scientific proof."

That argument has now been dismissed by Mr Justice Burton, who last year ruled that the environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore was political and partisan.

The decision allows the tribunal to go ahead, but more importantly sets a precedent for how environmental beliefs are regarded in English law.

Mr Nicholson, 42, from Oxford, told a previous hearing that his views were so strong that he refused to travel by air and had renovated his house to be environmentally-friendly.

But his beliefs led to frequent clashes with Grainger's other managers, while he said that Rupert Dickinson, the firm's chief executive, treated his concerns with "contempt".

Once Mr Dickinson flew a member of staff to Ireland to deliver his Blackberry mobile phone after leaving it in London, Mr Nicholson claimed.

Mr Nicholson hailed the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruling as "a victory for common sense" but stressed climate change was "not a new religion".

He said: "I believe man-made climate change is the most important issue of our time and nothing should stand in the way of diverting this catastrophe.

"This philosophical belief that is based on scientific evidence has now been given the same protection in law as faith-based religious belief.

"Belief in man-made climate change is not a new religion, it is a philosophical belief that reflects my moral and ethical values and is underlined by the overwhelming scientific evidence."

His lawyer Shah Qureshi, head of employment law at Bindmans LLP, argued that if the ruling had gone against them, "the end result would be that the more evidence there is to support your views, the less likely it would be for you to enjoy protection against discrimination".

Grainger now plans to contest Mr Nicholson's claim of unfair dismissal at tribunal.

Dave Butler, its corporate affairs director, said: "This decision merely confirms that views on the importance of environmental protection are capable of amounting to a philosophical belief.

"We are looking forward to addressing the issues at tribunal level and demonstrating that there was no causal link between Mr Nicholson's beliefs and his redundancy."

The grounds for Mr Nicholson's case stem from changes to employment law made by Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, in the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.

The regulations effectively broaden the protection to cover not just religious beliefs or those "similar" to religious beliefs, but philosophical beliefs as well.


- Telegraph UK

Japanese fishing trawler sunk by giant jellyfish

A 10-ton fishing boat has been sunk by gigantic jellyfish off eastern Japan.

By Julian Ryall in Tokyo

02 Nov 2009

Nomura's jellyfish: The crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler

The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba`as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura's jellyfish.

Each of the jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg and waters around Japan have been inundated with the creatures this year. Experts believe weather and water conditions in the breeding grounds, off the coast of China, have been ideal for the jellyfish in recent months.

The crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler, according to the Mainichi newspaper. The local Coast Guard office reported that the weather was clear and the sea was calm at the time of the accident.

One of the largest jellyfish in the world, the species can grow up to 2 meters in diameter. The last time Japan was invaded on a similar scale, in the summer of 2005, the jellyfish damaged nets, rendered fish inedible with their toxic stings and even caused injuries to fishermen.

Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings. In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures.

Experts believe that one contributing factor to the jellyfish becoming more frequent visitors to Japanese waters may be a decline in the number of predators, which include sea turtles and certain species of fish.

- ***

Telegraph UK

Large Hadron Collider broken by bread dropped by passing bird

The Large Hadron Collider's woes have taken a faintly comic turn after the huge particle accelerator got broken by a piece of bread dropped by a passing bird.

By Tom Chivers -

Published: 06 Nov 2009

The Large Hadron Collider (left) and its arch-nemesis (right) Photo: AFP/GETTY/JOHN TAYLOR

The 27-kilometer (16.8 mile) LHC suffered serious overheating in several sections after the small piece of baguette landed in a piece of equipment on the surface above the accelerator ring.

Dr Mike Lamont, the LHC's Machine Coordinator, said that a "a bit of baguette", believed to have been dropped by a bird, caused the superconducting magnets to heat up from 1.9 Kelvin (-271.1C) to around 8 Kelvin (-265C), near the mark where they stop superconducting.

A failure like this, known as a "quench", can be expected at around 9.6 Kelvin, CERN engineer Dr Tadeusz Kurtyka told The Register.

In theory, had the LHC been fully operational, this could cause a catastrophic breakdown like that which occurred shortly after it was first switched on last year. However, the machine has several fail-safes which would have shut it down before the temperature rose too high.

This would have forced it out of action for a few days, but nothing like the year-long breakdown last year's quench caused.

As it is, the LHC was only undergoing test firing. Full particle-smashing duties are scheduled to restart this month.

When fully powered up, the LHC's two beams of protons and lead ions hurtling around the huge circle at a fraction of a percent below light speed each contain the energy of a Eurostar train travelling at full speed, according to the Cern site.

It was this vast energy getting out of control that smashed the machine last time, causing a huge spillage of liquid helium and throwing two 10-ton magnets off their mountings.

The succession of technical problems the LHC has suffered has led some physicists, apparently in all seriousness, to claim that it is being sabotaged by time-travelling particles from its own future.



Is this haunting picture proof that chimps really DO grieve?


October 2009

United in what appears to be deep and profound grief, a phalanx of more than a dozen chimpanzees stood in silence watching from behind the wire of their enclosure as the body of one of their own was wheeled past.

This extraordinary scene took place recently at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon, West Africa.

When a chimp called Dorothy, who was in her late 40s, died of heart failure, her fellow apes seemed to be stricken by sorrow.

As they wrapped their arms around each other in a gesture of solidarity, Dorothy's female keeper gently settled her into the wheelbarrow which carried her to her final resting place - not before giving this much-loved inhabitant of the centre a final affectionate stroke on the forehead.

A growing body of evidence suggests that 'higher' emotions - such as grieving for a loved one after death, and even a deep understanding of what death is - may not just be the preserve of our species.

They (chimpanzees0 have often been observed apparently grieving for lost family and tribe members by entering a period of quiet mourning after a death, showing subdued emotions and behaviour.

And such complex emotions are not the preserve of primates or even mammals. Just this month, for instance, Dr Marc Bekoff, an ethologist at the University of Colorado, reported evidence that magpies not only appear to grieve for their dead but carry out something akin to a funeral ritual. 

In one instance, a group of four magpies took it in turns to approach the corpse of their dead comrade.

Two of the birds then flew off to return with a piece of grass, which they laid down by the corpse. The birds then stood vigil.

In fact, there is a large body of anecdotal evidence that corvids - the group of super-bright birds that include crows, magpies and rooks - engage in many sophisticated social rituals.

But the most famous nonhuman death rituals are those of elephants, who will often spend days guarding a dead body, gently prodding the remains with their trunks and giving the impression of being lost in grief.

Elephants are highly social, long-lived and intelligent animals, whose excellent memory is no myth.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the loss of a member of the clan produces an emotional reaction.



French lose the accent of love... as the Irish lilt is voted world's sexiest

03rd November 2009

There was a time when a Frenchman only had to order a pint of beer and women would collapse at his feet with desire.

Well those days, they are, 'ow you say, fini!

The Irish accent was yesterday voted the world's sexiest - knocking the Gauls off the top spot they've held for decades.

Helped by the likes of Colin Farrell, the Irish accent has knocjked the French off the top spot, no doubt to the dismay of Nicolas Sarkozy

Men with an Emerald Isle brogue, as promoted by stars like Colin Farrell and James Nesbitt, came top in a poll of 5,000 women worldwide.

The fall from grace of the French accent was laid firmly at the feet of president Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been accused of giving his countrymen a bad name by leering at women while married to Carla Bruni.

The Italian accent was deemed to be second most sexy followed by Scottish. The French only managed to limp into fourth place, just ahead of Australian. English was sixth.

The study also found six in ten women admitted they hade been succumbed to seduction by someone purely because of their accent.

And four out of ten said they would much rather go to bed with a man who had a nice accent compared with a gruff, harsh one.

The sexiest accents are: 1 Irish; 2 Italian; 3 Scottish; 4 French; 5 Australian; 6 English; 7 Swedish; 8 Spanish; 9 Welsh; 10 American.




U.N. alarmed by 'Colonel Sanders' visit

Probe launched after chicken icon look-alike mounts GA podium

October 30, 2009

"Colonel" at U.N. General AssemblyUNITED NATIONS - The embarrassing infiltration into the headquarters of the United Nations - to the very podium where President Obama spoke - by an actor portraying KFC founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders has sparked an "investigation."

The incident first was reported by WND on Oct. 24, and it continues to cause problems for Ban Ki-moon's U.N.

The situation developed when Robert Thompson, an actor hired by KFC parent Yum Brands Inc., was spearheading a new campaign to promote KFC grilled chicken.

According to Thompson, a retired mayor of Lawrenceburg, Ky., who has portrayed Sanders on many occasions, he had no plans to "invade" U.N. headquarters. The publicity stunt was set up to offer "UN-fried" chicken to U.N. staff members - as a way of promoting the "Grilled Nation" of chicken.

Said Thompson, "A man wearing a U.N. badge approached me and asked to take a photo." Shortly thereafter, the "Colonel" found himself with an armed escort traveling unchallenged into U.N. headquarters.

To his surprise, the "Colonel" was given a "personal VIP tour of the United Nations" by his new-found escort.

Not only did Thompson mount the General Assembly podium, but he was also given a brief audience with the GA president and an official photo op with him.

Only when the "Colonel" approached the Security Council area and attempted to address some reporters did the U.N.'s security control room react to the apparent security breach.

Since then, the international organization has been trying to assemble an explanation.

At first, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq tried to insist that the "Colonel" was an "unapproved" guest of someone representing a non-governmental organization. But Haq refused to identify the organization.

Meanwhile, U.N. lawyers were dropping hints that legal action might be taken against Yum Brands and Thompson.

"Colonel" with General Assembly presidentThen word got out that Thompson reported he was "voluntarily" escorted into the U.N. compound as an "invited" guest of a U.N. security officer.

Deputy spokesman Haq then changed his official position and admitted a breakdown in U.N. security was in fact responsible for the Thompson incident.

But while Haq was backtracking, his boss, U.N. spokeswoman Michelle Montas, said she "knew nothing" about the latest turn of events.

Meanwhile, senior members of the diplomatic corps are "furious" over the incident.

One veteran ambassador said that he never believed the U.N. story that "Colonel" Sanders had breached security.

"He could never get into the building without an approved escort ... impossible. He had to have an escort," the long-time diplomat said.

But among the unanswered questions is who is the security officer who admitted and escorted Thompson?

A videotape of the incident shot by UNTV, clearly identifying the mysterious security officer, suddenly has apparently "disappeared," officials said.

Ban Ki-moon reportedly was "upset," and Haq said an investigation was launched.




John C. Portman Jr., (Architect), Forbes, 10.30.09

I am not much for looking back. I'm too focused on what I'm doing and what I'm going to do to be retrospective, I take what I've learned along the way and tuck it away for use with the next endeavor, but I haven't done much navel-gazing about the past five decades. At 85, I'm too young to be nostalgic.

But how is it that I've navigated the inevitable ups and downs of business, particularly the real estate industry, over the decades? Five constant lessons stick out:

Be positive. If there's been one recurring theme in my life, it's the notion that you shouldn't dwell on anything. It's a lesson I learned from my mother. Negativism breeds negativism, which breeds nothing. You must not lose your vision, whatever adversity you might face.

Shut out the noise. You have to get out of the froth of everyday life, go within yourself and then come back out. Art has done that for me. So often people get caught up in things and lose a bit of humanity. We should treat things as servants to the human side rather than letting our lives be dictated by things--ringing cellphones, new e-mail messages and the constant noise that comes with increased communication and technology. Connecting with art, whether viewing a painting, hearing a fine symphony or participating in artistic expression yourself, allows you to get to the core of who you are, which inevitably shapes how you see the world and how you create solutions for the world around you.

Understand people. The best businesspeople are solution finders rather than sellers of things. I've always been a dedicated observer. By watching what people do, I try to figure out why they do it. Then I can better design something to meet their needs.

Balance vision and pragmatism. Good ideas are a careful balance between pragmatism and vision. When vision and pragmatism come together, it's a spectacular thing, but you can't let one take over the other.

Think about the long term and the greater good. It may sound absurd, but I've never been too focused on profit. I've been more focused on contribution. But the two don't have to be at odds--unless you make them. The emphasis on contribution often results in greater long-term profitability, because you're focused on the long term and the greater good rather than short-term financial gain. It's what drove me to become a developer-architect. Rather than concentrating on one great building, I could design and develop a great community, taking into account how people would interact with the adjacent structures.


     Jesus also didn't seem to go much by the 'profit' motive either, in fact he said; "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"(Mark 8:36) And in thinking about the long term, how about New Jerusalem, Heaven?

      All you have to do to be a part of that "woman" in Revelation 12, and assure your place in New Jerusalem, and the saving of your soul is to have received Jesus into your life.

      To do this is just a prayer away. Just pray--Dear Jesus, I ask you to come into my heart, cleanse me from my sins, give me eternal life, and save my soul, so I can be a part of the 'woman' and reserve my place in New Jerusalem. Amen.

      If you have any questions we encourage you to write us, or look over this web site. If you would like to contact one of our Christian mystics you can also do so via this web site.

      Until next week...

Almondtree Prouctions

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
(Revelation 21:2)

New Jerusalem


When you claim the power of the keys, My light, love, energy, and force become a part of your very being.